God Is Real, No Matter How You Feel

“The Lord has hidden Himself from His people, but I trust Him and place my hope in Him” (Isaiah 8:17 TEV).

It is easy to worship God when things are going great in your life—when He has provided food, friends, family, health, and happy situations. But circumstances are not always pleasant. How do you worship God then? What do you do when God seems a million miles away?

The deepest level of worship is praising God in spite of pain, thanking God during a trial, trusting Him when tempted, surrendering while suffering, and loving Him when He seems distant.

Friendships are often tested by separation and silence; you are divided by physical distance or you are unable to talk. In your friendship with God, you won’t always feel close to Him.

Philip Yancey has wisely noted, “Any relationship involves times of closeness and times of distance, and in a relationship with God, no matter how intimate, the pendulum will swing from one side to the other” (Reaching for the Invisible God, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2000; 242).

That’s when worship gets difficult.

To mature your friendship, God will test it with periods of seeming separation—times when it feels as if He has abandoned or forgotten you—when He feels a million miles away. St. John of the Cross referred to these days of spiritual dryness, doubt, and estrangement from God as “the dark night of the soul.” Henri Nouwen called them “the ministry of absence.” A. W. Tozer called them “the ministry of the night.” Others refer to “the winter of the heart.”

Besides Jesus, David probably had the closest friendship with God of anyone. God took pleasure in calling him “a man after My own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14; Acts 13:22).

Yet David frequently complained of God’s apparent absence:

• “Lord, why are You standing aloof and far away? Why do You hide when I need You the most?” (Psalm 10:1 LB).

• “Why have You forsaken me? Why do You remain so distant? Why do You ignore my cries for help?” (Psalm 22:1 NLT).

• “Why have You abandoned me?” (Psalm 43:2 TEV; see also Psalm 44:23 TEV; Psalm 88:14 MSG; Psalm 89:49 LB).

Of course, God hadn’t really left David, and He doesn’t leave you. He has promised repeatedly, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:8; Psalm 37:28; John 14:16–18; Hebrews 13:5).

Give hope, prayer, and encouragement below. Post a comment & talk about it.


SIGN UP FOR PASTOR RICK’S FREE DAILY HOPE DEVOTIONAL

SIGN UP FOR DAILY HOPE DEVOTIONAL

Special Offer

doingbusinesswithgod-gift-bottom-left

Christians In the Workplace, Study Kit

Do you want to earn more than just a living? You can, because God planned a ministry for you through the work you do. It doesn’t matter what your job is — a manager, a stay-at-home mom or dad, a doctor, a teacher, or a sales clerk — paid or volunteer. No matter what your daily routine looks like, God wants to use your work to minister to others.

REQUEST YOUR COPY

On the Radio

doingbusinesswithgod-currentseries-bottom-right

Doing Business With God, Complete Audio Series

Everyone has to work, but sometimes it’s difficult to see the bigger picture of why you’re doing what you’re doing. In this series, Pastor Rick helps you understand why you work, what you should be working for, and how God can use you in your workplace.er picture of why you’re doing what you’re doing. In this series, Pastor Rick helps you understand why you work, what you should be working for, and how God can use you in your workplace.

Purchase this seriesListen to this series